Hope, empowerment, recovery. Those of us with lived experience know how these simple words have the power to change our lives. From April 30th to May 2nd, 2014, we held the first National Conference on Peer Support in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Together we shared that reality for three incredible days where we affirmed what we already know; that peers intuitively understand peers. We are so excited – there was so much to celebrate.
Our lives are the richer for having the opportunity to learn from your shared and lived experience. We are inspired to know that there are so many dedicated people who understand the power of a simple conversation. This conference is just a small step in our mission to make peer support accessible to all. With your support – we know country wide access to peer support is going to happen!
Conference speakers have proven expertise in peer support programming, policy, and research. Attendees can expect to:
NCPS delegates will meet at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre. This luxury hotel, in the heart of a vibrant city, promises to host another exciting, sold out, event.
What is Peer Support?
Peer support addresses gaps that exist in our current healthcare system. Peer support offers the opportunity for a person who has lived experience with mental health problems or illness to offer support to another person who is struggling. Connecting with another person who has lived with similar problems (or is perhaps still doing so) — a peer — can be a vital link for someone who is trying to find their path to recovery and wellness. A Peer Supporter can help someone navigate the intricacies of the mental health system and other community resources which, to someone with mental illness, can seem to be an overwhelmingly complicated maze. Peer support can also help people regain independence and mastery over their own mental health recovery, literally transforming lives and enabling people to participate fully in, and contribute to, their families, jobs, and society.
Who is PSACC?
NCPS is hosted by Peer Support Accreditation and Certification Canada, (PSACC). PSACC, is a not-for-profit organization created to provide national certification and accreditation services in accordance with nationally endorsed standards of practice for mental health peer supporters. Its corporate mandate includes undertaking research and evaluation pertaining to peer delivered mental health services and programs. PSACC is dedicated to promoting the recognition, growth, and accessibility of peer support as a complement to the mental health system. PSACC was borne out of the work of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Peer Project, and it provides certification of peer supporters based on The national endorsed Standard of Practice for Peer Support. PSACC has an acknowledged leadership role in managing the collection of evidence based data aimed at furthering the advancement of peer support – a non clinical, recovery based approach that is complementary to the medical model of mental health care.